Saturday, April 2, 2011

A World Without Cancer - Guild Association Annual Meeting

Angela, Bev & me at the luncheon - Heidi took the photo
Yesterday, three of our guild members from Kitsap County attended the Annual Meeting of the Seattle Children's Hospital Guild Association with me. We elected new board members, said "thank you" to the outgoing president and confirmed the incoming one, listened to the head of the hospital tell about the past year's highlights and challenges, and watched an inspiring slideshow of what all of the different guilds do to support the hospital. We heard facts and figures about the guilds who make the largest financial contributions, a guild that was featured on the Nate Berkus Show, innovative ways to raise support, and more. All of us were thrilled to see the impact that a varied group of volunteers can have upon the well-being of a great hospital.
A summary of 2010 - the Guild Association:
  • has 7,000 members
  • is comprised of 500 guilds
  • added 22 new guilds
  • raised $10.6 MILLION dollars with their projects
  • raised $148,000 from membership revenue (this money also goes to support the hospital)
  • raised $425,000 net revenue from thrift stores, including the Bargain Boutique on Bainbridge Island, where Katie's portrait is now on the Wall of Courage
  • donated 185,957 volunteer hours
  • provided $1.7 million in guild-affiliated revenue for Foundation programs (from guild members and their friends)
Anna Clise, the visionary founder of the hospital, foresaw that such an institution would always need financial support, and so the Guild Association came into being. Guild membership is a vital part of the ongoing health and well-being of Seattle Children's Hospital. It is a privilege to be part of "the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the nation!"
If you would like to know more about the history of Seattle Children's Hospital, click HERE.

We heard from Aileen Kelly, the wonderful Executive Director of the Guild Association, and from Dr. Michael Jensen. Dr. Jensen showed THIS video which moved a lot of people - to tears, to hope, to joy, to excitement, and - I pray - to action.

And finally, we heard from Skyler Hamilton, a former cancer patient who is now in remission. Our family met Skyler and his parents when Katie was in treatment at the hospital. At one point, we were in the inpatient room next-door to them, and we were living at Ronald McDonald House at the same time. Skyler was very, very sick then; his misery at the time is burned in my memory (as is his mother's grace and generosity in praying for Katie). So it was a great thrill to see him making jokes, cleverly fielding questions from Pat Cashman, telling his story, happy, walking without crutches and discussing what has been done for him at Seattle Children's Hospital. He was a motivational speaker such as I have never seen before. Well done, Skyler! I'm so thankful that you are in remission.

If you are a friend of our guild, Thank You. If you are a guild member, Thank You. If you are not a member, please consider joining this wonderful organization!


  1. It always blesses my heart when I see a kid who was once very sick carrying on with life after. Good for him. Looks like an amazing evening.